I love tomatoes. They are my favorite part of summer. A fresh, juicy tomato picked fresh from the garden, lightly salted, still emitting it's sunshine-y warmth... what could be better? Well, truthfully, not much. But if you want to change things up a little bit, try oven-roasting them. Different from oven-drying, these little treasures are still juicy, but their flavor is concentrated into a lightly smoky sweetness. They can be eaten as is (delicious!), or try this little number I came up with: Roasted Tomato Crostini. A savory little toast, spread with seasoned ricotta, and layered with a roasted tomato. Heaven!
12 tomatoes (Romas are my favorite, but any variety would be wonderful)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, grated (a Microplane works perfectly for this step)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise and place in bowl. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, and add salt, garlic, pepper and optional basil. Stir tomatoes, making sure all tomatoes are seasoned. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle remaining juices and seasonings from bottom of bowl evenly over tomatoes. Bake for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, until tomatoes are roasted as desired.
Roasted Tomato Crostini
12 slices of French bread, 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
salt & freshly ground black pepper
roasted tomato halves
Preheat broiler. Drizzle bread with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Broil 3 - 4 minutes, until crostini is lightly toasted
Mix ricotta with salt and pepper to taste. Spread crostini with ricotta and place 1 or 2 roasted tomato(es) on top.